Updated: Apr 2
"Deputy Commissioner ko kahu Imran Yousaf Tumhari Baat nahi maanta" Sub Divisional Magistrate remarks on Deputy Commissioner directions.
Mirpur Azad Kashmir: It was an early morning of 31-March-2020, when I was going to buy commodities from the shop near Islamgarh Chowk Mirpur, while going back home, I approached the personnel's of Army and Police to appreciate their duties and to ask them if they need food or something while they are performing duties in tough times.
While I was talking to the personnel's, one of the Naib Subidar (Name Plate hidden and ranks were removed) came and hold my collar and started dragging me. The other personnel's interfered but in vain and he kept on dragging and slapping. Question Arises why he would do that? Did he had any Personal Issues with me? Yes! so basically my brother who is doctor by profession was stopped by this Naib Subidar on 30-March-2020 and despite showing his identity, he abused him and threatened to drag him and later on brother forwarded the complaint to their senior Captain Hamza and he apologized on his behalf and things were categorically settled.
So basically I was using same car today and was having face mask on, and so he took me as brother and proceeded to retaliation. It is important to mention that the law and present orders by Government do not allow Army Personnel's to search or ask anything from citizens unless the citizen refuses to comply with Police and police call them for help. Army Troops are deputed to assist the Civil Administration in maintaining law and order not to harass and torture the citizens Lets get back to what happened next? I was taken in custody on verbal orders of that Naib Subidar and was shifted to Police Station Islamgarh. I repeatedly asked for charges which is necessary to be informed before arrest or dentention under the Crpc and Police had no answers because I was neither violating section 144 or the act enforced.
I immediately rang Tahir Mumtaz, Deputy Commissioner of Mirpur and informed him about the situation, He seemed helpless before Army but still he ordered for releasing undersigned. The DC staff thrice ringed police station and twice Duty office Mr. Pervaiz was made in touch with DC office through my phone but the reply of Duty Officer was hilarious and disappointing at same time, he replied " Ask Deputy Commissioner sb to talk to Army Personnel's, if they order us we will release him". So categorically Deputy Commissioner orders were put in trash can just because Naib Subidar was not agreeing. Despite contacting Tahir Mumtaz frequently, I didn't get in touch again and when contacted his Private Secretary he informed that Deputy Commissioner is in meeting and he cannot do anything if they (Army Personnel's) are not agreeing. I dropped an SMS to him as well but no reply from his end. Good to have evidences!
Come on, Deputy Commissioner! They are working under you.
Lets not compare DC orders with Army orders for some time. I contacted sub divisional Magistrate Islamgarh "Imran Yousaf" and informed him about Deputy Commissioner orders and Imran Yousaf reply was surely challenging the District Magistrate orders " Tell Deputy Commissioner that Imran Yousaf cannot comply with your orders". Meanwhile some media colleagues got in touch with the senior officials and after that an immediate diversion in Imran Yousaf attitude was observed and seems the things started going in right way.
I was in forced/illegal custody since 7 hours on orders of unauthorized officer, with no charges and neither I was given in police custody by Pakistan Army as per codal formalities of handing over the accused and neither I violated any law imposed at that time but where Police do not obey orders of District Magistrate, What powers a Journalist exercise. Meanwhile one of my link got in touch with one of the officer's of Pakistan Army and I was released. (NO help from District Magistrate or Sub Divisional Magistrate).
I am not questioning the reputation of Deputy Commissioner Mirpur as I know him when he joined as Assistant Commissioner Muzaffarabad back in 2012 and know that he is calm, hardworking and honest person but seems like his calmness is being used as advantage by his subordinates and he literally have nothing in hand.
As far the legal course of actions is concerned, it cannot be accepted that any of the citizen or even a person accused for murder be thrashed,abused,dragged and get torture by any law enforcement agencies.
Considering legal course of action, I have filed an application before Core Commander Mangla for initiating Court Marshal proceedings against Naib Subidar. under the Army Act 1953 and my colleagues are in touch with Secretary Defense of Pakistan Government. We are filing an application before Deputy Commissioner Mirpur for impartial inquiry and to take necessary actions against all those involved, not much chances the Deputy Commissioner will admit that their subordinates have made a mistake and last but not least, Writ Petition against the exercise of jurisdiction beyond means by Army Personnel's and humiliating attitude of Mirpur Police with citizens along with civil proceeding for recovery of General Damages is also being filed on earliest possible.
We cannot blame Army as an Institution for all this mismanagement but Army needs o take actions against these bad names. I wont let one or two black sheeps in Army to bring up a bad name on state institutions and will raise the matter unless the Personnel's of Army as well as Police who took me in illegal custody are apprehended.
A Message for Deputy Commissioner Mirpur: The citizen owns you and press would be next to you in this tough time but harassing and humiliating the citizens needs to be stopped. To keep you stronger and motivated let me quote the remarks of Justice Jawad S Khawaja of Supreme Court of Pakistan "Magistrate should not consider himself as subordinate to commanding officer as he will have to explain reasons related to his act". More power to you officer!
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